A Sketch of Morality Independent of Obligation Or Sanction

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Watts, 1898 - Ethics - 215 pages

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Page 82 - Morale sans Obligation ni Sanction, English Translation, p. 93. t Idem, p. 149. maternity too large to be confined within the family. The mother's breast needs life eager to empty it; the heart of the truly humane creature needs to be gentle and helpful to all." * "The young man is full of enthusiasm; he is ready for every sacrifice because, in point of fact, it is necessary that he should sacrifice something of himself — that he should diminish himself to a certain extent; he is too full of life...
Page 211 - Instead of saying, I must, therefore I can, it is more true to say I can, therefore I must. Hence a certain impersonal duty is created by the very power to act. Such is the first natural equivalent of the mystical and transcendental duty . . .47 Guyau points out another important motive for interaction between an individual and society: man's natural love "to take physical and moral risks. These risks constitute self-sacrifice that serves others.
Page 91 - Duty will be reduced to the consciousness of a certain inward power, by nature superior to all other powers. To feel inwardly the greatest that one is capable of doing is really the first consciousness of what it is one's duty to do.
Page 108 - Et mit, d'un air ingénu, Son petit pied dans l'eau pure; Je ne vis pas son pied nu. Je ne savais que lui dire; Je la suivais dans le bois, La voyant parfois sourire Et soupirer quelquefois. Je ne vis qu'elle était belle Qu'en sortant des grands bois sourds. — Soit ; n'y pensons plus!
Page 97 - ... which the author gets is when he adopts the third point of view, that of sensibility. Now it is certainly true that the " social sanction " goes much deeper than the rewards and punishments, or good and ill report with society, relied on by individualistic ethics. " One always feels a sort of internal pressure exercised by the activity itself in these directions...
Page 87 - Hence it follows that the most perfect organism is also the most sociable, and that the ideal of individual life is the life in common.
Page 90 - In reality, reason in the abstract is incapable of explaining a power, an instinct, of accounting for a force which is infra-rational in its very principle. Observation, experience, is necessary. The fact of duty imposing itself on consciousness as a superior force once being admitted with Kant, let us try to clearly show this fact in its essential variations, and in its relations with the other similar facts of consciousness. We will afterwards see if to us it seems to offer anything supernatural.
Page 210 - ... force of expansion in sensibility. We need to share our joy; we need to share our sorrow. It is our whole nature which is sociable. Life does not know the absolute classifications and divisions of the logicians and metaphysicians ; it cannot be entirely selfish even if it wished to be. We are open on all sides, encroaching and encroached upon. This springs from the fundamental law which biology teaches us : Life is not only nutrition; it is production and fecundity. To live is to spend as well...
Page 75 - ... the consequence of the instinctive effort to maintain and enlarge life. The aim which, in fact, determines every conscious action is also the cause which produces every unconscious action. It is, then, life itself — life in its most intense and, at the same time, its most varied forms.
Page 211 - Life makes its own law by its aspiration towards incessant development; it makes its own obligation to act by its very power of action.

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